Ninety-four per cent of Tottenham supporters were unhappy with on-field performance last season, while three-quarters of fans believe the club’s ownership has declined over the past year, a new survey has found.
The results of the Tottenham Hotspur Supporters’ Trust’s (THST) annual survey reflect the club’s rapid downturn, with 92 per cent of fans satisfied with performances in 2019, when Spurs reached the Champions League Final under Mauricio Pochettino, and 98 per cent happy in 2018.
There was no THST survey last year due to the pandemic.
In the study of 8,358 supporters, published on Wednesday, just two per cent were satisfied with last season’s displays, dropping to one per cent for season ticket-holders.
Spurs finished seventh in the Premier League, crashed out of the Europa League and FA Cup before the quarter-finals and sacked manager Jose Mourinho days before losing to Manchester City in the League Cup Final.
The final weeks of the campaign saw supporter protests aimed at chairman Daniel Levy and owners ENIC following the club’s involvement in the aborted European Super League, and the survey also reflected widespread dissatisfaction at the ownership.
Just nine per cent of respondents felt ENIC’s ownership had improved, while 75 per cent said it had declined – another dramatic shift from 2019, when only six per cent thought the ownership had declined and 61 per cent said it had got better.
Asked how confident they were in ENIC’s long-term strategy for the club, just five per cent were confident, with 77 per cent not confident. In 2019, only 12 per cent of respondents lacked confidence in the owners’ strategy.
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Among the reasons given for the negativity towards the ownership were Spurs’s involvement in the Super League, as well as the perceptions that the club has not sufficiently invested in the first-team and prioritised business considerations over football.
Levy has said he shares supporters’ frustrations over last season’s displays and acknowledged mistakes from the board, admitting in May that Spurs “lost sight lost sight of some key priorities and what’s truly in our DNA”.
Spurs have restructured over the summer, with new managing director Fabio Paratici now responsible for running the football side of the club, while Levy continues to manage the business.
Paratici was influential in the appointment of new head-coach Nuno Espirito Santo, and Spurs are in the process of reshaping the squad during the summer transfer window.
They have also moved to give supporters more of a voice in the wake of the Super League fiasco by announcing the formation of a Club Advisory Panel of elected fans, the chair of which would be appointed as a full non-executive member of the board.
THST has urged the club to go further in giving supporters a voice and said the survey results support their belief that “significant change” is required.
Releasing their findings, THST said: “Reading through the many thousands of comments, the overwhelming sentiment is very clear. People spoke of feeling fans were held in contempt, that the Board was too focused on business and not enough on football, that responsibility for poor decisions was seldom taken, that communication and decision-making was poor.
“Across the survey, the current Board’s approval ratings have plummeted, when just two years ago, fans spoke of the fantastic feeling of unity at the Club. If anyone ever doubted significant change is needed at our Club, these survey results make the point very clearly.
“Of course, it’s not enough just to say what is wrong, although the clear feeling in these results must be acknowledged. Nor is it enough to sloganise or pretend there are easy solutions.
“That’s why we have been working hard on a set of proposals to genuinely embed the voice of supporters at the heart of the Club’s decision-making. We’re doing that as part of a review being led by fans and carried out by the government that is looking at how individual clubs and the whole game in England is run.”
With fans set to return to full stadiums this season, 82 per cent of respondents were either confident or very confident about returning to games with 62,000 plus fans present from August, with 18 per cent not confident.
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